Ok so here is a strange question for you. Are you ok to eat a meal by yourself? As you might have heard me mention recently, I am really trying to stop working through my lunch and just step away from my office. I love, love my job but working from home can have some disadvantages as well. The main one is that your work is always there staring at you. As you know balance is my middle name and lately I feel I have let work creep into my balanced state so I am trying this new way of eating lunch.
Today I took a book outside to read but I really did not want to read. I just wanted to sit there and look out at the beautiful greenbelt behind our house. The funny thing is it felt really strange just sitting there. I felt like I still needed the book next to me even though I did not want to read it. Come on, you know what I am talking about. It’s like when you go to Starbucks or your favorite restaurant by yourself, you always bring a book or pick up the free magazine on your way to your table because you don’t want to look like a loser eating all by yourself. You know this has happened to you, don’t try to fool me!!! But the question is WHY DO WE FEEL THIS WAY?
So today when I sat down with my salad (Hey no making fun of my socks that don’t match, Mike does it enough for all of you!) I picked up my book and then it occurred to me that I was in my own backyard and no one could see me. It still felt strange, but I put my book down and just enjoyed the moment of peace and beauty. I am not kidding that it really did feel strange but I forced myself to do it. I can go outside and meditate by myself, I can run by myself, but it just felt odd to eat by myself. I guess maybe it is because eating is such a social event. Next I got to thinking, is that why we have so many over weight people in our world today? Stay with me on this thought. If we embrace eating as a social event and we are by nature social beings does that mean that we are always eating? Mike and I are guilty of this big time. We love to sit outside and gab after a long day at work but I just can’t imagine doing it without a glass of wine and cheese or a cup of coffee and some grain free cookies!!!!!! I told you this was going to be one of those all over the place posts 🙂
My lunch was amazing and that book and my phone never got a second look until that salad was gone. I just sat there and enjoyed the silence. I tell you what, I went back to my desk and cranked out some of the best work I have done in a long time. I think we all need more silence time in our life. I am not talking about “ME” time, where you go get your nails done, or go golfing with the boys, I mean true silence time. Today’s world seems so different to me than it did when I was growing up. I might be wrong and it might be because I was a kid so I did not pay attention to all those grown up details. Today we live in an extremely externalized culture. We are constantly being pulled outside of ourselves. There are so many distractions; Social Media, Regular Media, Our Jobs, Our Children, The Bills, and just everyday life demands. Nothing in our culture or in our education teaches us how to go inward, how to steady the mind and just focus on the moment at hand and be in solitude. It is my opinion that as a result of this we just feel odd being by ourselves and spending time in solitude. We don’t know how to just be in the moment and be silent. I think we worry that we look awkward or that we are falling behind in our social calendar. What do you think? It is kind of crazy if you do a Google image search for the word solitude all you get is a bunch of pictures of people that look depressed. Maybe we need to start making sure the word solitude has positive attributes attached to it and not negative ones.
Will you do me a favor? Next time you are going to go out to eat by yourself, leave the magazine and phone in your car and give it a try. Another idea might be to pack your lunch and head to the nearest park and just sit and enjoy everything this amazing world has to offer us. Whichever option you pick just promise me you will sit back and enjoy the solitude if even just for a mere 30 minutes. It is kinda nice!!!!